Buenos Torontio

A friend of mine just came back from Buenos Aires, a city more than twice the size of Toronto, and with an unusual status that large cities should be looking at and considering emulating.

Because Buenoes Aires, you see, is not a city.

And, despite often being referred to as Argentina’s homage to Paris, it’s not, technically, in Argentina.

Its correct name is Cuidad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, or “The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.” And although this status was constitutionally formalized in 1994, Buenos Aires was federalized in 1880, more than 130 years ago.
What does this tell us?

That large urban centres are a natural resource, that they need to be treated with the same care and attention as national parks or national historic sites, that they are important and beneficial to their provinces and their countries and that attention (and money) must be paid to them.
Toronto, as Canada’s largest city, is on obvious candidate for some sort of Special Status, as are Montreal and Vancouver.

Ottawa was chosen as Canada’s capital for logistical reasons.
Americans were still hopeful that they could unite all of North America into a single entity ruled from Washington.

Britain was nervous about defending a Canadian Dominion so rich, but so vast and inhospitable.
Queen Victoria’s emissary, Colonel By, was charged with finding the ideal location for the new capital city, and found a swampy mess of a site for the new Dominion’s Capital that was not only very distant from the American border and hence American troops, but was topographically defensible (it’s hard to advance soldiers through a swamp).

Canada’s Capital City, Ottawa, should have special status.
But so should Canada’s City of Capital, Toronto.

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